From 2006 to 2010 I attended school at SUNY Fredonia, a college known for it’s prestigious music program. Fredonia is a small school, consisting of just over five-thousand students a year, placed in the middle of an equally small town. With not a whole lot to do and an expansive number of musicians, a DIY scene began to form.
Two people I met during my four years spent there were Jim Hill and Greg Rutkin. Jim ran The Foxhole, a DIY venue in the basement of his apartment. We once played all of In The Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel as a Fredonia super group there. Greg played drums, about two times, during practice with another band I was in, before we disbanded shortly after.
Now, together with some friends, they live in Brooklyn, NY and run the DIY venue David Blaine’s The Steakhouse, or DBTS for short. Referred to as “steakholders,” the space was originally founded by Rutkin, his cousin Adam Kolodny, and friends Cameron Wisch and Dave Medina. There are currently six steakholders who live there with a revolving door of subletters, couch crashers, and touring bands filtering through. DBTS is self described as, “the home of world class magic paired with juicy, select cuts of high quality red meat. Live music can be heard at times,” and it’s true, live music can be heard at almost all times. Between the constant shows and almost every resident of the house being a member of a number of bands, you’ll always hear some sounds coming from somewhere throughout the house.
Since it’s inception in October 2013, DBTS has housed such bands as Frankie Cosmos, Krill, and LVL UP. LVL UP is just one of the many bands made up of members who live at DBTS, including drummer Greg Rutkin and singer/guitarist Nick Corbo. There is even a song on their latest album, Hoodwink’d, titled DBTS. Directed by steakholder Adam Kolodny, the accompanying video was shot at DBTS and perfectly encompasses the vibe of any show at the space.
As for future endeavors, the newly formed Steakhouse Records label has just released it’s first compilation of demo songs and home recordings, DBTS: BS1 from members of bands who have passed through or currently reside at DBTS. They’re putting out the new Downies record in a few months and just put out a drone record called Naked in the River with the Creator. The shows and future projects, including more editions of BS, will continue with the same camaraderie that fueled the venues start.
That’s the beautiful thing about David Blaine’s The Steakhouse, it was founded by a group of friends who just want to create and aid their friends in the creation of any kind of art they can. From the painted mural on the wall—to the filming of music videos—to the recording of this very sick The Wedding Singer cover, someone will be there to help. Everyone who resides at or rolls through DBTS has a creative soul that’s ready to help this community of friends continue to build the strong underground scene they started nearly 2 years ago.
Additional information provided by Chris' longtime friends Jim Hill and Samantha Pagan.